According to tradition, twenty-eight chiefs of the MacNicols or Nicolsons lie buried in holy ground on St. Columba's Islands. A detached chapel by the medieval church is known as Aite Adhlaic Mhic Neacail, rendered loosely in English as `Nicolson's Aisle'. In it lies a recumbent stone of typical West Highland type, of sixteenth century date, displaying an armed warrior, reputed to be a MacNicol. If the tradition of burial at Snizort is accurate, the connection between the Clann MhicNeacail or Nicolsons and Skye must be as old as the name itself. At one time, however, the influence of the clan extended far beyond Trotternish over a wide area of the Hebrides and the north-west mainland, with the island of Lewis, perhaps, as a base. Although a Gaelic origin has sometimes been claimed for the clan, the older and better view is that the Nicolsons are of Scandinavian descent. Tradition, traceable as far back as the seventeenth century, asserts that the MacNicols lost much of their early power and influence through the marriage of an heiress with the ancestor of the MacLeods of Lewis. There could be truth in this - wherever the MacLeods of Lewis are found in the later Middle Ages, there are traces of previous MacNicol proprietors.
In 2004, because of the significance of St. Columba's Isle with the Chiefs of Clan MacNeacail, our current Chief, John MacNeacail chose the area of Nicolson's Aisle to scatter the ashes of his father and our beloved Chief, Iain who died in Oct 2003.